Breaking Your Bad Communication Habits

by Betty Lochner on February 28, 2017

Closet purgeHave you ever gone through your closet and sorted out your old clothes? You know, ones that either don’t fit, or that aren’t your “color?”  I learned recently that I shouldn’t wear black. I think half of my wardrobe is black.  So, I decided it was time for some clothing reassessment.

I grabbed a friend and a glass of wine and went through my closet. We used the color charts and tips and after a very productive session of closet downsizing, I took three garbage bags full of clothing to my car to be transported to charity. The bags sat for a week, and whenever I opened my car up I peeked over to take a look and congratulate myself on my accomplishment and discipline. Then I started poking through the bags. I found myself pulling out a few things that I decided I just wasn’t ready to let go of – I need at least some black in my wardrobe, right? And, maybe that 25 year old sweatshirt my kids made me should stay too.

My husband even tried to help by communicating that I have too many shoes by lining them up and blaming the dog.

shoe roundupThis isn’t unlike how we respond to getting rid of bad habits. We know we should get rid of them, we’ve learned what we should keep and what needs to go, but when the going gets tough we revert back to the familiar. But we need to let them go and make way for new, improved habits!

Think about it – do you have a communication habit you need to let go of?  Do you talk more than you speak? Or maybe, you are really good at interrupting and want to change that?  It’s hard to break our communication behaviors that we have hung on to for so long. Our human nature makes us want to hold on to the familiar and resist change – even if we know it’s for the better.


If you are working on changing a habit, give yourself some grace.  But, when you find yourself putting bad habits back in your closet to stay, go back in there, put them in a bag and get rid of them. You’ll be so glad you did.

You can check out training opportunities to help you get rid of some old comunication habits and work on new ones to improve your relationships at work and home here.
Betty LochnerBetty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on
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